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# Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## 3. Basics of Heat Transfer

This lecture is intended to refresh the post graduate students memory about the basics of heat
transfer regarding the various modes of heat transfer, analogy between heat transfer and
electric circuits, combined modes of heat transfer and the overall heat transfer coefficient.

As a start, we will begin by the modes of heat transfer mechanism in a brief review then we
will elaborate on the analogy between heat transfer and electric circuits. This will enable us to
study the combined modes of heat transfer then we will end this lecture with the concept of
overall heat transfer coefficient.

## 3.1 Modes of Heat Transfer

Heat, by definition, is the energy in transit due to temperature difference. Whenever exists a
temperature difference in a medium or between media, heat flow must. Different types of
heat transfer processes are called modes. These modes are shown in Figure 3.1. When a
temperature gradient exists in a stationary medium, which may be a solid or a fluid, heat
flows under the law of conduction heat transfer. On the other hand if the temperature gradient
exists between a surface and a moving fluid we use the term Convection. The third mode of
heat transfer is termed Radiation and it needs no medium to transfer through since it is driven
by electromagnetic waves emitted from all surfaces of finite temperature, so there is a net
heat transfer by radiation between two surfaces at different temperatures.

## Figure 3.1 Conduction, convection and radiation heat transfer modes

3.1.1 Conduction
Conduction is the mechanism of heat transfer whereby energy is transported between parts of
a continuum by the transfer of kinetic energy between particles or groups of particles at the
atomic level. We should conjure up the concept of atomic and molecular activity In gases,

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

conduction is caused by elastic collision of molecules; consider a gas in which there exist a
temperature gradient and assume there is no bulk motion . The gas may occupy the space
between two surfaces which are maintained at different temperatures as shown in Figure 3.2.
We associate the temperature at any point with the energy of gas molecules in proximity to
the point. This energy is related to the random translational motion as well as to the internal
rotational and vibrational motions of the molecules. As shown in Figure 3.3. The hypothetical
plane at xo is constantly being crossed by molecules from above and below due to their
random motion. However, molecules from above are associated with a larger temperature
than those from below, causing net transfer of energy in the positive x direction. We may
speak of the net transfer of energy by the random molecular motion as a diffusion of energy.

Figure 3.2 Conduction heat transfer as diffusion of energy due to molecular activity.

## In liquids and electrically non conducting solids, it is believed to be caused by longitudinal

oscillations of the lattice structure; it is called also lattice waves. Thermal conduction in
metals occurs, like electrical conduction, through the motion of free electrons. Thermal
energy transfer occurs in the direction of decreasing temperature, a consequence of the
second law of thermodynamics.

In solid opaque bodies, thermal conduction is the significant heat transfer mechanism because
no net material flows in the process. With flowing fluids, thermal conduction dominates in
the region very close to a solid boundary, where the flow is laminar and parallel to the surface
and where there is no eddy motion.

Examples of conduction heat transfer are tremendous. On a summer day there is a significant
energy gain from outside air to a room. This gain is principally due to conduction heat
transfer through the wall that separates room air from outside air. Also in electronics cooling
process conduction is a heat transfer mechanism used in every electronics design. Even if a
system is designed for convection cooling of the circuit boards, conduction is still the
dominant heat transfer mechanism within the component devices and on the circuit board.
This is especially true for power electronics, where concentrations of heat are developed in

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

components such as power silicon and magnetic. This heat must be transferred via conduction
to the component case, the circuit board or a heat sink before it can be handled by the system-
level cooling mechanism(s). Consequently, all electronics designers must be aware with the
techniques of thermal conduction and its analysis.

Figure 3.3 Conduction in liquids and solids ascribed to molecules vibration (solids),
translational and rotational (liquids)

It is possible to quantify heat transfer processes in terms of appropriate rate equations. These
equations may be used to compute the amount of energy being transferred per unit time. For
heat conduction, the rate equation is known as Fouriers law.

Fouriers law is a phenomenological; that is developed from observed phenomena rather than
being derived from first principles. The general rate equation is based on much experimental
evidence. For the one dimensional plane wall shown in Figure 3.4 having a temperature
distribution T(x), the rate equation is expressed as

dT
q x = k
dx
The heat flux q" (W/m2) is the heat transfer rate in the x direction per unit area perpendicular
to the direction of transfer, and it is proportional to the temperature gradient, dT/dx, in this
direction. The proportionality constant k is a transport property known as the thermal
conductivity (W/m. K) and is a characteristic of the wall material. The minus sign is a
consequence of the fact that heat is transferred in the direction of decreasing temperature.

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

Under the steady-state conditions shown in Figure 3.4, where the temperature distribution is
linear then the temperature gradient may be expressed as

dT T2 T1
=
dx L

## And the heat flux is then

T2 T1
qx = k
L
Note that this equation provides a heat flux, that is, the rate of heat transfer per unit area. The
heat rate by conduction, qx (W), through a plane wall of area A is then the product of the flux
and the area, q x = q x x A .
//

## 3.1.2 Thermal Convection

This mode of heat transfer involves energy transfer by fluid movement and molecular
diffusion. Consider heat transfer to a fluid flowing over flat plate as in Figure 3.5. If the
Reynolds number is large enough, three different flow regions exist.

Immediately adjacent to the wall is a laminar sublayer where heat transfer occurs by thermal
conduction; outside the laminar sublayer is a transition region called the buffer layer, where
both eddy mixing and conduction effects are significant; beyond the buffer layer is the
turbulent region, where the dominant mechanism of transfer is eddy mixing.

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

Turbulent region

Transition
u
buffer layer

Laminar sublayer

## Figure 3.5 Boundary layer build up over flat plate

Convection heat transfer may be classified according to the nature of the flow for free or
natural convection the flow is induced by buoyancy forces, which arise from density
differences caused by temperature variations in the fluid.

An example is the free convection heat transfer that occurs from hot components on a vertical
array of circuit boards in still air as shown in Figure 3.6(a).Air that makes contact with the
components experiences an increase in temperature so that the density is reduced.

For a forced convection; the flow is caused by external means, such a fan, a pump, or
atmospheric winds. An example of which is the use of a fan to provide forced convection air
cooling of hot electrical components on printed circuit boards as shown in Figure 3.6(b).

Forced fan

Air

## (a)Free convection on electric components chips

Figure3.6 (a) Free convection, (b) Forced convection

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## The heat transfer by convection is described by the Newton's law of cooling:

q = hA(TW T )
Where;
q = Heat transfer rate (W)
h = Heat transfer coefficient (W/m2.K)
Tw= Wall temperature (K)
T= Free stream fluid temperature (K)

The approximate ranges of convection heat transfer coefficients are indicated in Table 3.1 for
both free and forced convection.

## Table 3.1 Convection heat transfer ranges

Process h(W/m2.K)
Free convection
- gases 2-25
- liquids 50-1000
Forced convection
- gases 25-250
- liquids 50-20,000
Convection with two phase
- boiling or condensation 2500-100,000

Example 3.1: An electric current is passed through a wire 1mm diameter and 10 cm long.
This wire is submerged in liquid water at atmospheric pressure, and the current is increased
until the water boils. For this situation h = 5000 W/m2.oC. And the water will be 100 oC.
How much electric power must be supplied to the wire to maintain the wire surface at 114
o
C?

Schematic:

Electric wire

Solution:
The total convection loss from the wire is given by
q = hA(TW T )

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## For this problem the surface area of the wire is

A= d L = (1 x 10-3) (10 x 10-2) = 3.142 x10-4 m2
The heat transfer is therefore
q = 5000 3.142 10 4 (114 100) = 21.99 W
And this is equal to the electric power which must be applied.

The mechanism of heat transfer by radiation depends on the transfer of energy between
surfaces by electromagnetic waves in wave length interval between 0.1 to 100 m. Radiation
heat transfer can travel in vacuum such as solar energy.

Radiation heat transfer depends on the surface properties such as colors, surface orientation
and fourth power of the absolute temperature (T4) of the surface. The basic equation for
radiation heat transfer between two gray surfaces is given by:

q = fA(T14 T24 )

Where:
= Stefan-Boltzmann constant = 5.67x10-8 W/m2.K4
= Emissivity of the surface which provide of how efficiently a surface emits energy relative
to a black body(no reflection) and it's ranges 0 1
= Geometrical factor which depends on the orientation between the surfaces

## Example3.2: A horizontal steel pipe having a diameter of 10 cm is maintained at a

temperature of 60 oC in a large room where the air and wall temperature are at 20 oC with
average heat transfer coefficient 6.5 W/m2.k. The emissivity of the steel is 0.6 calculate the
total heat lost from the pipe per unit length.

Solution:
The total heat lost from the pipe due to convection and radiation
qtotal = q convection + q radiation
= h A(TS T ) + fA(TS4 T4 )
Because the pipe in a large enclosure then the geometrical factor = 1

= 134.33 W / m

## 3.2 Analogy between Heat Transfer and Electric Circuits

There exists an analogy between the diffusion of heat and electrical charge. Just as an
electrical resistance is associated with the conduction of electricity, a thermal resistance may
be associated with the conduction of heat. Defining resistance as the ratio of a driving
potential to the corresponding transfer rate, it follows from Figure 3.4 that the thermal
resistance for conduction is:

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

T s ,1 T s , 2 L
R t , cond =
qx kA

## As the electric resistance from Ohms law

E s ,1 E s , 2 L
Re = =
I A
As there is a conduction resistance also there is a convection resistance.

q = h A (Ts- T)

Ts T 1
Rt ,conv =
q hA

## 3.2.1 Series Circuits

In the series circuits of heat transfer, heat is transferred in a series of stages that aren't
necessary of the same heat transfer mode. Figure 3.7 shows a plane wall subjected at its end
to convective heat transfer. So in this case the heat is first transferred from the hot fluid to the
wall surface by convection, then through the wall by conduction, and finally by convection
from the second wall surface to the cold fluid. Here the heat quantity in each phase is the
same so as current flowing in a series of electric resistances. Then from this analogy we may
conclude that:

Toverall T 1 T 2 T 1 T 2
q= = =
Rt (R t ,conv ) + (R t ,cond ) + (R t ,conv ) 1 + L + 1
h A kA h A
1 2
As
E E1 E 2
i= =
Re (R e ,1 ) + (R e , 2 ) + (R e ,3 )

This thermal resistance analysis is very useful for more complex systems as composite walls
and combined heat transfer modes. As examples examine Figure 3.8, if we use the analogy,
the problem formulation will be much easier and less time consuming.

## MPE 635: Electronics Cooling 43

Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## Hence, the amount of heat transferred could be expressed as

T 1 T 2
q=
1 L A L B LC 1
+ + + +
h1 A k A A k B A k C A h 2 A

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## 3.2.2 Parallel Circuit

In parallel thermal circuits, heat is transferred in parallel through several heat transfer
conduits. These conduits may be of various heat transfer mod or from the same mod as is the
case shown in Figure 3.9a and b.

q1

q2 q2
R2
q3 R3 q3

qtot q4 R4 q4 qtot

q5 R5 q5

q6 R6 q6

q7 R7 q7

Figure 3.9 a

qconv

qtot qtot

Figure 3.9 b

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## Now considering the case in Figure 3.9 a,

T T
qi = k i Ai =
Li Rt ,i
And;
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 T
qtot = qi = T + + + + + + = R
R t ,1 Rt , 2 R t , 3 Rt , 4 Rt , 5 Rt , 6 Rt , 7 t ,tot

This means that like electric circuits in parallel, the equivalent total thermal resistance would
be:
1 1
=
Rt ,tot Rt ,i

## 3.2.3 Series-Parallel Network Reduction

A thermal network can be extremely complicated so that normal analysis would be
exhaustive. In this case, the use of the analogy between thermal and electric network would
simplify the analysis. In order to simplify the thermal networks, the series and parallel
thermal resistance are combined in order to reach simplified analysis. The following figure
shows a circuit with the method of simplification.

1
Let, R6 = and R7 = R4 + R5
1 1
+
R2 R3

1
Let, R8 =
1 1
+
R6 R7
R8
T1 R1
T2

Let, R9 = R1 + R8

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## 3.3 Combined Modes of Heat Transfer

Most of the practical cases under investigations, heat is transferred by more than one mode;
as for examples heat may be transferred by combined convection and radiation, combined
convection and conduction, etc.

## 3.3.1 Combined Convection and Radiation

Since these two modes of heat transfer are completely independent, there would be no mutual
effect between them. Thus net heat exchange of the surface is the sum of the two

## q net = qconv + q rad

This hypothetical approach seems to be similar to the parallel electrical resistances as shown
previously, but the problem here is that no radiation resistance has been defined yet. So let us
use a radiant heat transfer in order to express the radiation heat transfer, q rad, as a linear
function in the temperature difference between the surface temperature and the fluid
temperature.
q rad = hr A (Ts T f )
Where;
hr = radiation heat transfer coefficient, W/m2.K
A = heat transfer surface area, m2
Ts = surface absolute temperature, K
Tf = enclosure absolute temperature, K
Now it is time to define how the radiation heat transfer coefficient can be obtained

q rad (T 4 Te4 )
hr = = Fse s
A (Ts T f ) (Ts T f )

In the above equation, Te is used to express the enclosure temperature as this is the more
general case. But for most of the cases, the fluid adjacent to the surface has the same
temperature as that of the enclosure. So for this most likely circumstance the following agree:

## (Ts4 T f4 ) (Ts2 + T f2 ) (Ts + T f ) (Ts T f )

hr = Fse = Fse
(Ts T f ) (Ts T f )

Ts + T f
Tm =
2

Tm = Ts T f

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

hr = 4 Fse Tm3
And finally;
q net = htot A (Ts T f ) .
Where htot = hconv + hrad

## 3.3.2 Combined Convection and Conduction

This combination is likely to occur with the use of extended surfaces where the primary
surface exchanges heat by convection to the adjacent fluid flow and by conduction through
the extended surfaces. This case may be considered in a similar manner as the above, but here
the problem doesn't need extra work as the conduction thermal resistance is pre-defined.

## q net = q conv + q cond

(T Text )
q net = hconv (Ts T f ) + k s A
L

## 3.4 Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient

The concept of overall heat transfer coefficient laid its importance in the heat exchanger
design and industry as it combines the various modes of heat transfer in the heat exchange
between two fluids.

The concept of overall heat transfer has been extensively studied in the undergraduate
courses of heat transfer and heat transfer equipments, but again for reasons of memory
refresh. Let's examine the defining equation and it parameters.

1
U h Ah = U c Ac = "
1 Rf ,c x R "f ,h 1
+ + + +
hc ( Ac , p + f ,c Ac , s ) ( Ac , p + f ,c Ac , s ) kAm ( Ah , p + f ,h Ah , s ) hh ( Ah , p + f ,h Ah , s )

Where;
Uc is the overall heat transfer coefficient based on the cold side area, W/m2.K.
Ac is the total heat transfer surface area adjacent to the cold fluid side, m2.
Uh is the overall heat transfer coefficient based on the hot side area, W/m2.K.
Ah is the total heat transfer surface area adjacent to the hot fluid side, m2.
hc is the convection heat transfer coefficient based on the cold side area, W/m2.K.
Ac,p is the primary heat transfer surface area adjacent to the cold fluid side, m2.
Ac,s is the secondary heat transfer surface area adjacent to the cold fluid side, m2.
f,c is the cold side fin efficiency.
Rf,c" is the fouling factor for the cold side, m2.K/W.
x is the wall thickness, m.
k is the thermal conductivity of the interface wall material, W/m2.K.
Am mean heat transfer area for conduction, m2.
hh is the convection heat transfer coefficient based on the hot side area, W/m2.K.
Ah,p is the primary heat transfer surface area adjacent to the hot fluid side, m2.
Ah,s is the secondary heat transfer surface area adjacent to the hot fluid side, m2.

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Course Part A: Introduction to Electronics Cooling

## f,h is the hot side fin efficiency.

Rf,h" is the fouling factor for the hot side, m2.K/W.

The following table gives values for representative fouling factor for several applications:
The heat transfer between to fluids separated by heat transfer area can then be easily
calculated as:

Qnet = U h Ah Toverall

The following table shows some values for the overall heat transfer coefficient:

## Seawater and treated boiler feedwater (below 0.0001

50 C)
Seawater and treated boiler feedwater 0.0002
(above50 C)
River water below 50 C 0.0002-0.001
Fuel oil 0.0009
Refrigerating liquids 0.0002
Steam (nonoil bearing) 0.0001

## Water to water 850-1700

Water to oil 110-350
Steam condenser, water in tube 1000-6000
Ammonia condenser, water in tube 800-1400
Finned tube heat exchanger, water in tubes air 25-50
in cross flow